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Instagram favourites - Lance Trussell

Instagram favourites - Lance Trussell

During our 'Pretty In Pink' open call, Lance Trussell's photographs really caught our attention. We reached out on Instagram to find out more about his inspiration and journey into photography.

F&A: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, do you work as a photographer or is it a hobby?

LT: I live in a rural town based in Virginia’s wine country with my girlfriend, Sarah, and my dog, Willow. When I’m not working my regular office job as a legal assistant near Washington D.C., I’m teaching guitar or playing gigs as a professional musician.

My interest in analog photography didn’t start until sometime after I graduated from college (around seven years ago) when I took a trip to New York City. While I was there I went to the Museum of Modern Art for an afternoon and stumbled upon an exhibit titled “Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light”. I was floored by what I saw, the way he transformed everyday scenes and subjects in 1930s London into something surreal was pure magic to me. I didn’t end up exploring this newfound interest in art photography until years later when my best friend, who was and still is obsessed with film photography, loaned me his Polaroid camera before traveling to Spain. I was hesitant to buy film at first because it was so expensive, but once he started sending me scans of his black and white shots of Almeria and the mediterranean coastline, I knew I had to try it. The way he was using light and shadow reminded me so much of Bill Brandt, it was like he was traveling back in time and capturing nostalgic scenes from the past. I immediately bought a pack of Impossible Project film and my fascination with instant photography quickly turned into an obsession.

F&A: What camera do you use and why?

LT: At this point I have too many cameras to use, but my favorite is my MiNT SLR 670s. It’s essentially a Polaroid SX-70 folding-type camera that has been masterfully modded to shoot both manual and automatic functions, the latter of which I’ve stopped using entirely. I have to light meter every shot with an app on my phone, so it has really made me slow down and consider my shots. It allows more control when facing difficult lighting situations and has the ability to take long exposures, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Above all, I just love the style and feel of the folding-type SX-70, it’s a beautiful invention. My other go-to camera is The Impossible Project Instant Lab, it allows me to capture my digital images onto instant film. Everything from photo collage to multiple exposures are possible. The sky’s really the limit in terms of creativity, I’m still exploring its amazing potential.  

F&A: What inspires you?

LT: I think living out in the country and being surrounded by nature has inspired a lot of my work. I rent an apartment above a garage on an old Virginia estate. On the property there’s  a haunted stone house dating back to the 18th century, 10 acres of empty pastures enclosed by a maze of black fence lines. As the seasons change, new layers are revealed that spark endless amounts of ideas. For me, it’s like a photographer’s playground.  

I’m also very inspired by my girlfriend, Sarah, who’s actually a professional photographer. We’re constantly bouncing around ideas and pushing each other's imaginations, I’d say most of my work is a result of our collaboration. Traveling is very important to us, so naturally our adventures are very photography centered. Just getting away from home and seeing so many amazing places has had a profound impact on my work.

My family is major inspiration too. Both of my parents have extensive backgrounds in the visual arts, my mom as a photographer and graphic designer, my dad as a painter and video producer -- they met on the set of a horror film my dad was directing in the 1970s. Growing up, my two siblings, who are both artists as well, and I would always be fascinated with our parents’ work. A few years ago, my mom gave me a tin box full of her collection of Polaroids documenting our early childhood and before, I like to think I’m working on my own collection of memories now.

See more of Lance's work over on Instagram www.instagram.com/ltpaperhouse

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